A 65-year-old Florida Keys woman received $30,000 from the city of Key West, Florida, to end her slip-and-fall injury claim. The city commissioners approved the settlement on July 7.
Rosanne Woodruff was leaving the A-1 Beauty Salon in Key West, Florida, in February 2012 when she tripped over a broken piece of the concrete sidewalk, struck her face on a large tree and fell to the ground, face first. According to city staff, the tree had cracked and pushed up the sidewalk.
Woodruff waited for police to arrive, who documented the incident in a report. They also took photos that showed the facial injuries she sustained from the fall, including a lump on her forehead and black eyes due to bruising. Salon workers then took her to a hospital.
City attorneys advised the city commission to make the settlement rather than risk having to pay out as much as $100,000 to Woodruff after a potential loss at trial. Besides the $30,000, the city is also covering expenses incurred from neurological testing that they proposed Woodruff should undergo.
Public sidewalks tend to become uneven due to normal wear and tear or because of other conditions such as a growing tree root, as in this case. In order to prove liability in this slip-and-fall accident, it must be demonstrated that the sidewalk was in an unreasonably hazardous condition to such a degree that it was negligent for the city to not have seen it and attempted to fix it. Woodruff’s documenting of the accident immediately after it occurred also contributed to building her case.
It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If you were injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.